Let’s talk morals.
I think morals are important. Vital, actually, and my basic moral system is:
Do what is good for your life, think long term, set goals according to your values and leave other people alone unless asked. That which negates from the quality of your life is of no value and is not for you to pursue. That which promotes your happiness and flourishing is what is in accordance with your values and is what you ought to pursue. Life is the standard, living is the goal.
That’s all quite general, but it covers the basis of human life. Life is always the standard of value. Without life, there is no value, because value involves a relationship with a valuer. A rock has no meaning to it. It is given meaning.
Your life has no meaning to it, unless it is given meaning, but that meaning must always come from you. It’s your life after all, and you ought to live it how you want it. In other words, make it meaningful for you, and meaningful living promotes flourishing and happiness. Your goal is happiness.
This means that if you want to live like a hermit, and it honestly makes you happy, you may live like a hermit. I’ll leave you alone, it’s your system of values. If you want to live lavishly, live lavishly. I’ll leave you alone.
None of these are “better” than the other unless applied under a metric that compares them. ie economically this person makes more money therefore Y. 100% true, but if the janitor chose to be a janitor because sweeping floors is the coolest job ever, then the janitor is doing the right thing, because he pursues what he values.
Anyway, I’m being sidetracked here. Life and living are the standards of value. I leave you alone and let you live. This naturally ties into politics at some point because all of it is connected, but the essential right to live how you please comes with the caveat that it requires freedom. You must have liberty after life, and after liberty the protection of one’s property. Your life requires liberty so that you may create the world you want within your sphere, which is protected by a rights respecting government so your property is not taken by an asshole who thinks you owe them something.
I’ll leave it there.
My main point that I really focus on is to leave people alone. To let them live as they please and live with the consequences that their actions cause. Unless it harms you or harms another ie. force, then it isn’t something to focus yourself on. Be indifferent unless indifference leads them to do something of great harm, whether to themselves ie. intention of suicide over psychosis, or to others.
Now that you have some idea of how I think of this – which, for the record, I think (re: I know) is 100% right and in accordance with reality – I can get to my main point, which is people dying of their actions.
They commit to something which somehow leads to their death. Whether it’s a mistake they made, or a calculated risk they failed on, I think it is always in some sense a tragedy when this happens. Life is precious is a nonsense term, because it is much too light to describe life.
Life, and living, is everything to you, and if it isn’t, then it should be. Every thing you do for yourself ought to be in pursuit of good living the way you imagine it. Everything. It’s not precious, because to say so devalues the real, indescribable value of the act of living.
I digress. When people die, it’s a tragedy in some sense, because another potentiality was snuffed from existence into nothingness. I take no comfort in the death of people who were following what they believed and harmed no one in the process. It’s a shame, as whether they had made a colossally stupid mistake or died in the process of living fully, both are tragic in their own way – they both tried to live.
This isn’t a universal rule of sympathy. I have none for murderers and tyrants. I think it is quite easy to understand why, as they are takers of life. If life is the standard of value, then death is its opposite. Death takes life away, and while it is a natural process of entropy that all of us share (and it ought to be understood as lucidly as possible in order to really value living), one who actively brings death to others, at no choice of their own and not as an act of self-defense, is the enemy of life, and no second thought should be given to those who murder and destroy.
Anyway, this all comes down to my main point: how we look at the dead. There’s a prevailing problem that I’ve noticed time and time again over the past few years where people would laugh at the death of an individual who has made a critical error in the process of living, or worse, they would use them as an example based on a political or social agenda.
It’s gross. Revolting. I can’t describe it accurately, because I can’t relate to that kind of view of life. I don’t really understand the reasoning behind it, but there must be some deep malevolence in people who do this. A kind of loathing for others and I don’t really understand its cause.
The issue is I see it so often. It’s especially prevalent online where anonymous faces allow you to really show who you are without risk of people putting a face to the name.
The worst part is people truly think that it’s okay to do this.
To see someone die, who was of no consequence to their lives, and use them as an example of stupidity or laughter. “this guy sure is a moron isn’t he?”.
I think there’s an issue there which runs deep, and a severe lack of empathy for humans as a whole. It’s empathy only reserved for people who are in line with one’s own values or ideals, but vicious indifference and malevolence towards people who dared disagree with ones positions or premises.
This is why I think a good, and virtuous moral system is necessary, because it quickly reduces this kind of malevolence down to its essentials and reveals it to be what it is: evil and a vice.
I consider it evil to laugh at the deaths of others for giving life a shot their way, who harmed no one but themselves. I consider it vicious beyond reproach to use them as examples of “bad behaviour” or “stupidity”. It’s astonishingly vile. There is no value to it. None.
Respect, and honor the dead who chose to live how they wanted, just as you would respect and honor the freedom of an individual who is living how he wants.
Not only is this a universal respect for what is good in life, but it is good for your soul. You remember to have empathy for what the human spirit is all about: which is surviving and thriving, nature and risk be damned. They took a chance, and failed. It’s a tragedy – but they at least chose to die on a hill they actually believed in.
Reflect, and consider whether you truly honor and respect the lives of others.
Maybe it’ll help you fix your own shit.